Healthy Trucker (a division of NAL Insurance ) , in partnership with Morneau Shepell, will be launching the first Assistance Program dedicated for Professional Truck Drivers called the Healthy Trucker Assistance Program (HTAP). This new assistance program will help fleets decrease traffic incidents and driver turnover by focusing on reducing major health risks that effect drivers like depression, sleep apnea, obesity and more.
“Over the past 2 years, I have worked with a lot of drivers that were having trouble maintaining a healthy weight and getting a good night’s sleep,” said Andrea Morley, Health Coach at Healthy Trucker. She continued, “Much of the me there would be an underlying issue that increased a driver’s stress level, causing them to have poor diet, exercise, and sleep habits. Everything from trouble with their spouse at home, to debt issues, to frustration with dispatchers at work can cause a driver to have difficulty looking after their health.”
Studies show that trucking industry has some major driver health issues that are increasing our driver shortage. Some of these driver health issues are: • Over 28% suffer from mild to severe Sleep Apnea (ATRI, 2002) • Between 15%-24% suffer from Depression (M. Shatell, 2012) • More than 69% are classified as Obese (National Institute of Health, 2014) • 22% have Hypertension (National Instiute of Health, 2014) • 51% are Smokers (Naonal Instute of Health, 2014) • 14% have Diabetes (National Instiute of Health, 2014).
Kelly McNaughton, regional clinical manager with Morneau Shepell spoke to a packed audience of trucking executives at this year’s Driving for Profit seminar. During her presentation she said, “We know drivers spend a lot of me alone in the truck, thinking of things going on at home, their partner at home, finances…depression can set in, there’s anxiety.”
McNaughton also added that drivers that suffer from a mental illness are not able to perform at work to the best of their ability and are unlikely to approach their employer to discuss their problem. If the driver knows they have the ability to speak to someone about their issue and know that it’s completely confidential, they are more likely to open up about their issue and get the support they need.
The HTAP is a trucking specific Assistance Program that will focus on providing Over the Phone and In Person Assistance for drivers on 5 key areas: Health (both physical and mental), Finance, Family, Work and Life. It’s our goal to create a beer work life balance for Professional Truck Drivers. These men and women are faced with some tough obstacles, including spending me away from family, loads of paperwork, demanding schedules and too much alone me.
We want to be there to take some of this stress away so that our members can do what they do best… Drive Safely! Although Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) have been offered to drivers in the past, utilization is generally very low as it rarely gets talked about. In addition, most fleets haven’t offered an EAP to their O/O’s as doing so could jeopardize their independent status. The HTAP is a perfect solution for both O/O’s and Drivers as the services offered are trucking specific. All drivers have the opportunity of taking a confidential on-line risk/health assessment that helps them understand some of the areas that they could use some help.